It's not over. There are still people getting sick from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. There are still people dying from COVID-19. On Thursday (April 29th) North Carolina reported 1,985 new cases. 1,137 people in our state were hospitalized with the disease. 12,631 North Carolinians have died from it, a little over a hundred of them n the past week; and while the death toll is slowing, there are still new deaths reported every day.
The good news is that 40% of the adult population of our state have now been fully vaccinated against the virus, 31.4% of the total population and 72.8% of those over 65 (the most vulnerable group). While the vaccines aren't 100% effective, they do help. Coupled with other measures including wearing masks when in gatherings, they are helping us to at last see the possibility of a return to more normal activities.
The virus has caused many usual events to be canceled, but high schools in Lincoln and Catawba counties resumed having proms and this year, they'll have traditional graduations. The American Legion World Series in Shelby cancelled this year's 'Seventh Inning Stretch' festivities, but the American Legion World Series will return for 2021. Lincolnton is planning for an Independence Day Parade this year. The parade, by the way, WILL be on July 4th (Sunday) and will be followed by the fireworks show at the Lincolnton High School stadium. Since Independence Day is on Sunday, some towns are considering having their July 4th celebrations on the 3rd (Saturday). Stanley will have its fireworks on the night of the 3rd. Dallas will have its fireworks on the night of the 4th at Cloninger Park, but on Friday night (July 2nd) Ted Huggins and Sandy Grant will present a patriotic music concert (7 PM) at Dallas Baptist Church.
Plans are also underway for the observance of Memorial Day in Lincolnton, and the Art Crawl is returning the evening of Friday May 21st with the Chalk Walk on Saturday May 22nd.
A few weeks ago, many were talking about difficulty in getting their COVID vaccination. Now, while the supply of vaccine is still limited, it's not difficult at all to schedule an appointment. The problem now is convincing those who haven't been vaccinated that it is safe and effective and for their own and everyone else's protection, they need to do it.
Cleveland County Public Health created a series of print advertisements to help promote getting vaccinated. [See photo at right.]
Lincoln County's number of active COVID cases goes up on Tuesdays and down on Fridays, based on how the Health Dept. supplies its twice-weekly figures. This month, the number of active cases was 57 on April 1st, the lowest in recent months. It was 114 the following Tuesday (April 6th) and since then, it has gone up on Tuesday, down on Friday: 9th--77, 13th--175, 16th--88, 20th--168, 23rd--85 and 27th--128. While there have been new cases, the number of deaths in the county hasn't increased since April 9th.
CLICK HERE to see the latest COVID-19 'Snapshot' from the Lincoln County Health Dept.
We can't declare an 'all clear' since the virus is still officially at this point a pandemic. While North Carolina's number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths appears to have stabilized--not yet ended, there are several states where the numbers are once again critical. So, as health experts agree: keep wearing your masks, be careful and don't overdo it with gatherings, and please--GET YOUR VACCINATION!
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